Why I don’t do Facebook

Yes, that’s right – yours truly, an old-skool, dyed-in-the-wool Alpha Geek, does not have a Facebook page. And does not want one.

I am no stranger to the Internet – I’ve been blogging since… well, since before it was called “blogging”. I’ve been on eBay since 1998 (I even wrote a guide to eBay once upon a time) and Craigslist since 2004. I have a Twitter account. I pay my bills and do most of my banking online. With apologies to Yoda, A technophobe I am not.

But I refuse to get a Facebook page. Why is this?

  1. No Time. Yes, I have a life, and a good lady to live it with. I love my life, and defend my most precious resource – my time – jealously. Facebook looks like a time sink to me.
  2. No need for connectivity. I refuse to wrap my life around technology. That’s an odd thing to say, considering that I carry a PDA, a phone and an iPod on my belt… but none of these are internet-connected, nor do I want them to be. None of them are even particularly modern devices. The PDA is a Palm Tungsten T3 – a 2004 vintage machine that works for me (when it dies… I have a spare!) and the iPod is a 2007 80GB Gen5.5 Model (when it dies… I’ll upgrade the hard disk to 240GB) and the phone is basic – no web, no GPS, no touchscreen. But ‘connectivity’ is not something I seek.
  3. No “friends”. Yes, I have friends – a few deep friendships with people I care about – but I don’t feel any need to share the minutiae and trivia of my day-to-day life with them, let alone a large circle of “friends” I haven’t met or don’t care about enough to write or call directly.
  4. MAJOR security concerns. Not a week goes by without some Facebook horror story about some kid being snatched/abused/murdered or some cute woman being stalked (funny how nobody ever stalks the ugly ones – or maybe it does not make for good news coverage). This is not always – or even usually – Facebook’s fault, but someone has to be blamed, and they are an easy target; more often than not it is an unfortunate combination of bad/stupid decisions by kids and/or parents. I am not about to advocate the banning of social networks, but parents need to get a clue and be involved. At the very least, they need to treat policing their child’s online activities as a part of the full-time job that is parenting. That said, it is too easy to inadvertently broadcast private information about yourself if you don’t know what you are doing (according to real-life friends who have Facebook pages).
  5. Who owns my stuff? At some point in time, Facebook may wish to “monetize” (I hate that word) their “content” (I hate that word, too). What is to prevent them from “doing an Amazon” and retrospectively claiming ownership of the information that they have accumulated? Not much… which is why I don’t care to invest my life to Facebook’s tender mercies.
  6. This too shall pass. Remember MySpace? Me neither.
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